Melissa Falk

Melissa Falk Solo Roamer

This blog is dedicated to all of the avid travelers, food lovers and cultural enthusiasts who are too afraid, nervous or self-conscious to pursue their passions solo.  Get out of your head.  No real memories are made there, only safely tucked-away daydreams. Get out of your house.  Get on with your life 🙂

I was born, raised and lived in New York City until 2005 when I moved to Chicago where I currently reside.

I have had a wickedly strong wanderlust since I was a young child and it has never waned.  Before I leave this world, it is my dream to set my feet on all 7 continents ( 4 down and 3 to go!).  Of course, if global warming or some natural, ecological event creates a few more continents, well then, I will need to visit those, too!

I am a self-imposed and unapologetic non-driver.  Yes, that’s right.  I do NOT possess a driver’s license.  You can now remove your jaw from the floor!  I prefer walking, cycling, and mass-transit as my modes of transportation.  These choices save me money, help me to stay in better physical and emotional shape (no road rage!) and allow me to do my part in lowering road congestion and pollution.  Also, walking, cycling and mass-transit are often faster than driving (particularly in a big city) and they keep me in a more nomadic frame of mind.

I do not follow conventional or organized religions.  However, the “holy trinity” which keeps me centered is TRAVEL, FOOD and LIVE MUSIC.  To be clear, the Travel Channel, The Food Network and all food and travel-related media are my porn!

I love most musical genres and revere many musical artists.  However, my musical heroes, the few who shake me to my very core, are Stevie Ray Vaughan (R.I.P.), The Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, Noah Hunt (best male voice on the planet), Etta James (R.I.P.), Beth Hart (Welcome back to the U.S.A., girl! You are the best female singer I have ever heard), PJ Barth (sexiest guitar player around and killer vocalist), Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers and Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (You have not let me down in over 30 years!).

Airports and good grocery stores excite me.  I LOVE exceptionally spicy food.  There is no such thing as too much garlic or hot sauce!  Hot food should be hot until the very last bite, sip or slurp.  I despise lukewarm coffee, especially if it tastes awful already.  I believe that any establishment that has its focus on breakfast but which cannot serve up a great tasting, burn-my-tongue, give-me-a steam facial, non-diarrhea-inducing cup of coffee should simply close its doors.  A person should be properly caffeinated!

I get as excited about stumbling upon the ripest tomatoes of the season as I do about world politics.  I often plan my next vacation while on my way home from the current one.  I am always thinking about my next meal.  I am a good cook, too.  Sometimes cooking is the only calming and creative outlet I can enjoy in a day and a girl has got to eat!

I am genuinely shocked by people who are not stopped dead in their tracks by a full moon, especially a moon that hangs so low and shines so brightly that it can be confused with a street lantern.  It’s the Moon, people!  It’s beautiful and powerful.  It moves tides, affects menstrual cycles and it often causes many of us to have crazy, epic, Spielberg-esq dreams.  I am confounded by those who visit natural wonders like the Grand Canyon but who are too antsy to breathe in its majesty.  I have actually overheard visitors say things like “OK, well, how long do you think we should look at it” or “Wow!  It’s really big but I’m hungry.  Let’s go eat.”  Seriously?!

I love a good storm – rain, snow, electrical – as long as no one gets hurt.  Nothing humbles me more than the beauty and power of “Mother Nature.”

Most importantly, I never want to miss out on the things about which I am passionate simply because none of my friends or family are available to join me.  This would be a tremendous crime against my nature.  I was always a fairly confident person but pursuing my interests solo has made me even more confident by pushing me past a few comfort zones, not to mention better-traveled, better-fed and more cultured.  After 20 years of traveling, dining and enjoying many, different cultural events, I have learned that there are some advantages to “flying solo.”  And…I was never lonely.

Learn more about Feeding Off the Rails, my popular food series which I turned into a separate blog of its own!

Let’s work together.  Visit my Contact/Work with Me page for more details.